Velocity Europe 2012 Roundup

This year’s Velocity Europe took place in London from October 2nd to October 4th. It had two main topics: “Web Performance” as well as “Operations and Culture”. The first day was a warm up day sporting longer more interactive sessions.

In summary the Web Performance talks were quite interesting. From learning some new tricks about Chrome Dev Tools from Google’s brilliant Ilya Grigorik to getting an outlook on HTTP 2.0 by Akamai’s Mark Nottingham. It seems that some current best practises on operating web applications might change in the future.

Being a DevOps guy myself the “Operations and Culture” talks were really outstanding! There were some really inspiring talks about how Operations has come a long way and how it will have to change and adapt in the future. John Allspaw pointed out in his talk about “Escalating Scenarios” how important the human factor is while dealing with high pressurce scenarios. He stressed the importance of a company culture that embraces failure and encourages people to be honest about their mistakes. Only through that a company can learn and get better at what it does.  Opscode’s CTO Christopher brown held a brilliant keynote about how Operations has matured as it’s own field and gave an outlook to moving from a craft towards “Operations Sciences”. “DevOps Patterns Distilled” by Patrick Debois (Jedi BVBA), John Willis (enStratus), Gene Kim (IT Revolution Press), Damon Edwards (DTO Solutions) was _the_ outstanding session! This new DevOps “Gang of Four” created some truly amazing groundwork and paved the way for DevOps to mature from a philosophical movement to a serious collection of practices!

Overall the quality of speakers was outstanding coming from companies like Google, Facebook, Akamai, Opscode, Etsy. The only really disappointing talk was “How Draw Something Absorbed 50 Million New Users, in 50 Days, with Zero Downtime” which turned out to be mainly a sales talk from Couchbase 😦

If you didn’t have the chance to come to London this year be sure to check out the official website where you can also find all of the slides!

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